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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead


by Tom Stoppard

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Isolation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.

Quote #1

GUIL: A man talking sense to himself is no madder than a man talking nonsense not to himself. (1.175)

Why do the requirements for sanity go up when one is alone? How can Hamlet tell if he is talking sense to himself when there is no one else to measure his sanity for him and tell him if he is making sense?

Quote #2

GUIL: We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered. (2.79)

Does the presumption correspond to the fact that we assume that we were sad when certain things came to an end, or could it correspond to something else? How many ways can you interpret this quote, despite the fact that it grabs you by the lapels (at least it grabbed us by the lapels) the first time that you read it?

Quote #3

PLAYER: There we were – demented children mincing about in clothes that no one ever wore, speaking as no man ever spoke, swearing love in wigs and rhymed couplets, killing each other with wooden swords, hollow protestations of faith hurled after empty promises of vengeance – and every gesture, every pose, vanishing into the thin unpopulated air. (2.114)

As part of the Player's lament about performing and finding you don't have an audience, does this passage reveal that actors are much like lonely little children, just attempting to get some attention and abate their loneliness?

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